John Jasperse tells his truth … at REDCAT

Dance · Reviews

New York choreographer John Jasperse’s engaging dance work with the coy name, “Truth, Revised Histories, Wishful Thinking, and Flat-out Lies,” confirms the obvious. And that is that of the many wonderful outposts for dance in Los Angeles, REDCAT is the most happening. Chances are high you’ll leave this venue with a belly full of top-notch contemporary dance. To translate into L.A. terms, a dance performance at REDCAT merits the drive downtown.

Highlights of the REDCAT dance season included the re-staging of Anna Halprin’s “Parades & Changes.” Dance maker Rosanna Gamson then kicked in more theatrical gorgeousness with her multimedia “Tov,” for which REDCAT was reconfigured into a long dark underground tank.

For Jasperse’s two-act evening — the first half couched in black, the second dazzlingly reversed-out in white — an open-sided box well accommodated his sexy, taunting and provocative quartet for two men and two women. The quartet’s great cut bodies pour forth their Made-in-New-York dance technique.

Jasperse rolls his work out at an unhurried pace — it’s full of posing, slow-motion, freeze-frame, fade-ins-and-outs much like a challenging art film. The choreographer’s eclectic sensibility includes audience-friendly touchstones like marvelous scenic and costume design, kooky cinematic scoring, which is later trumped by live-on-stage chamber music.

Viewers of all sexes will admire the languid voguing of Jasperse’s excellent women, Eleanor Hullihan and Erin Cornell, both fabulous lady dancers who pretty much carry the show.

Jasperse claims his dance is about truth, but he hides somewhat as an artist behind ironic distance — most blatantly when donning a black cat suit and cowl, and prowling the stage like a shady terrorist. Or, in its white version, with faces hidden beneath doily helmets that evoke lampshades. Is that his truth?

This fun, challenging, and smart-looking performance is recommended.

John Jasperse Company | REDCAT performance space @ Disney Hall | on through the weekend

Leave a Reply